Season Recap: The Forwards

Sorry this one took so long. Was swamped with schoolwork and there’s a LOT to crunch here.

The third of our three-part series recapping UVM hockey’s season. Today we look at the forwards.

For Part One, focusing on goaltenders, click here.

For Part Two, focusing on defenders, click here.


WOMEN

Ève-Audrey Picard (Fr.) – 38 GP, 16-15-31

Alyssa Gorecki (So.) – 38 GP, 13-12-25

Saana Valkama (So.) – 35 GP, 7-17-24

Victoria Andreakos (Sr.) – 34 GP. 9-19-18

Bridget Baker (Sr.) – 36 GP, 12-5-17

Cassidy Campeau (Sr.) – 38 GP, 7-9-16

Mackenzie MacNeil (Jr.) – 35 GP, 5-4-9

Kourtney Menches (Jr.) – 34 GP, 5-3-8

Ali O’Leary (Fr.) – 38 GP, 1-5-6

Sarah Kelly (Sr.) – 35 GP, 3-2-5

Casey Leveillee (Sr.) – 38 GP, 1-4-5

Bella Webster (Jr.) – 34 GP, 1-2-3

Allie Granato (Fr.) – 18 GP, 0-1-1

The top two lines were terrific this season, led by a trio of underclassmen. Early in the season I called Picard UVM’s most talented player since Pelkey left. High praise, sure, but after setting new program records in goals and points by a freshman, she has definitely earned it. Her and Gorecki went OFF in the playoffs against Providence. Valkama was also sensational despite missing a couple of games with injuries and a trip to the Four Nations. The trio of seniors – Andreakos, Baker, and Campeau – were an excellent second grouping as well; not only did they contribute offensively, but Baker and Campeau were excellent on the PK. The rest of the squad, though their numbers were relatively unremarkable, had their moments (MacNeil’s two goals against Union, Kelly’s pair against Maine, and O’Leary’s first career goal being UVM’s biggest of the season forcing overtime in the WHEA semis). It has to be stated that the seniors did more than contribute on the ice; their contribution to bettering the culture of UVM women’s hockey from a losing one to a winning one put us in the position to land great players like Valkama, Picard, and Gorecki. I’m really excited to see what the future holds for this team, and what kind of contribution Coach Plumer’s next class brings.


MEN

Mario Puskarich (Sr.) – 32 GP, 12-17-29

Ross Colton (Fr.) – 33 GP, 12-15-27

Brian Bowen (So.) – 33 GP, 12-15-27

Brendan Bradley (Sr.) – 31 GP, 6-14-20

Craig Puffer (So.) – 36 GP, 11-8-19

Jarrid Privitera (Jr.) – 34 GP, 8-11-19

Brady Shaw (Sr.) – 34 GP, 8-11-19

Derek Lodermeier (Fr.) – 37 GP, 4-14-18

Matt Alvaro (Fr.) – 31 GP, 8-5-13

Rob Darrar (Jr.) – 20 GP, 7-6-13

Liam Coughlin (So.) – 31 GP, 3-8-11

Tom Forgione (Sr.) – 23 GP, 4-5-9

Anthony Petruzzelli (Jr.) – 27 GP, 3-6-9

Travis Blanleil (Jr.) – 28 GP, 4-3-7

Kevin Irwin (Jr.) – 11 GP, 0-4-4

Drew Best (So.) – 10 GP, 0-4-4

Conor O’Neil (So.) – 4 GP, 1-1-2

Malcolm McKinney (Sr.) – 1 GP, 0-0-0

If there’s one word I can think of to describe this year’s UVM men’s crop, it was fun. The offense was effective (15th in the nation in goals per game), fast-paced, and flowed nicely. The team got contributions from all over the lineup, but the freshman group stood out (minus Cam Klein who didn’t play). Colton is obviously the highlight, with the NHL draft pick status and all, but Alvaro and Lodermeier were fantastic as well. The group of sophomores was okay, with Bowen exploding onto the scene and Puffer contributing well; as for the rest of the Class of 2019, Best looked good in limited minutes after not playing at all his freshman year, Coughlin was a bit iffy (his point total actually went down from his first year), and I can’t really say anything about O’Neil as he blew out his ACL early in the season. As for the juniors…Jarrid Privitera was solid once again, and Rob Darrar was terrific when he wasn’t hurt; Petruzzelli and Blanleil did okay (and I’d be willing to bet one of them is next year’s captain). But I’d be worried for Kevin Irwin’s future with the team; he only played two games post-Belfast and seemed to lose his spot in the rotation to Best.

To the senior class. Mario Puskarich graduates as one of the best forwards in recent UVM history. The first to hit 50 goals and 100 points since JC Ruid in the days of St. Louis and Perrin, despite injuries his sophomore year, a lack of a good linemate his junior year, and suspension his senior year. He played his best hockey since that freshman year where he was Hockey East Rookie of the Year. He’s started his pro career quickly, with 7 points in his first 8 ECHL games. Then comes Bradley, whose contribution on the defensive side was almost as big as his offensive game. Brady Shaw brought physicality and some offense, although it’s a shame he was never able to replicate his 19-goal sophomore season. Truculence Tom Forgione was the little bugger and fan favorite that he always was, and his winner against BU was probably the best UVM hockey moment I’ve seen live. McKinney…only played on Senior Night due to some injuries, partially because there were other players in the lineup who were better and partially because he missed the early season with a finger injury.

As for the future of this team, I’m really excited to see a few things. What can Ross Colton become? Can Brian Bowen build on his breakout year – and Craig Puffer too? What kind of impact will the new recruits have? Who will replace Puskarich’s finishing, Bradley’s two-way ability, Shaw’s physicality, and Forgione’s energy? I’m excited to find out.


That’s it for our season recap. As for the rest of the offseason:

  • Season recaps for recruits and alumni. Recruits will probably be up first with the end of the junior season near
  • Preview of the UVM Hockey Class of 2021 when it’s officially out
  • Preview of the UVM schedule when it comes out
  • Preview of the rest of Hockey East
  • Any major breaking news in UVM land
  • And hopefully more!
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